Ugh, So I decided to take yet another break from booze recently. #DryJuly wasn’t really in response to an overindulgent party season that had been the motivation behind previous sober stints. It was basically because I got FAT. Not phat but like FAT FAT as in bordering on morbidly obese. This was as a result of an injury that occurred during my trip to Love Island (it was a badly twisted ankle – so get your mind out of the gutter) which meant I couldn’t exercise like a beast teamed with the fact that I live less than 100 metres from McDonald’s. Anyway, I decided alcohol was the easiest thing to cut out (shoot me, but I’d choose chocolate and ice cream anyday!), Anyway, earlier this year when I returned to the RS of A after my exile in Blighty when I also took a leave of absence from men, this time around I decided to remain in the dating game (god help me!). It really was easier said than done.
#zlotybaby and I have had many conversations/written many blog post’s about society’s obsession with booze in a social settings. We’ve both read Catherine Gray’s bestseller – The Joy of Being Sober and not fully agreed with how she paints a picture of sober life as all hearts, flowers, glitter and unicorns.
When There Is Chemistry…
Have you ever noticed that there are certain people you have chemistry/banter with even before you meet for the date? These are usually the ones which involve butterflies, big moves and good stories for the debrief with your besties the next day.
If you think about it carefully, the banter, the chemistry and butterflies were always there before you took the first sip of wine. So yup, if your date has the right skills 😉 (and attitude) alcohol in itself really doesn’t really add any value.
But When There Is Nothing Booze Only Takes The Edge Off,,,
On the flipside, when you’ve landed yourself a low-value encounter that is basically dull booze helps make it a bit more bearable. By ‘low-value’ I don’t just mean someone you don’t click with romantically but can have at least hold a pleasant conversation, or even someone you can have a heated debate with (oh that reminds of the one time I threw precious pink gin on a racist date) but just someone who is simply dull or doesn’t seem to have any interests or passions. In such circumstances, booze is your friend and helps you get through the encounter without stabbing yourself in the head.
Remember There Are Still Situations Where Even Booze Can’t Help
I’m going off on a bit of tangent right now. But I just wanted to make the point there are some situations that are so awkward or intolerable that even booze can’t help.
The example that pops to mind was my date with the ‘serial killer’, a guy who had greasy hair and probably hadn’t seen the light of day for a few years and basically launched straight into the date by telling me how his wife has left him by emptying out the apartment and leaving him with nothing but the cat. (Can’t say I blame her) I faked an emergency, left a half drunk Savannah and ran for the hills.
Some People’s Attitude Towards Booze Is Just Downright Frightening
People like to make a big deal of it when they notice you aren’t drinking – calling you a wuss, asking if you are knocked up (immaculate conception much?) or telling you to just stick to neat vodka because the calories are always in the mixers. Whatever your legit reason for giving up or taking a break from booze, there are people who’ll have something to say about it.
So, the one such noteworthy incident. I was out with a guy who I’d hung out with before, and as soon as I mentioned I wasn’t drinking I noticed a slight change, nothing major so I carried on drinking my sparkling water. When we broached the topic of whether drinking was a necessary part of dating his response was ‘well it’s not a big deal for the guys not to drink, but its good to ply the lady with a drink or two so she loses her inhibitions’. Eww. Screams #metoo vibes to me.
And the worst thing about the whole episode. On a good day, even me with my low alcohol tolerance, I’d drink this geezer under the table. Inhibitions. Haha. He’d probably be getting his stomach pumped while I was busy drunkenly smashing McDs into my face (now do you see how I get FAT so easily!)
Booze Allows You To Tolerate More BS Than You Should. Without It You Desire To Date Half-Heartedly Diminishes.
So, I’ve never been one to sit at home and complain about Tinder, while having never ever been on a date. I don’t believe you can ever say you’ve been unlucky in love when actually you are just lazy AF. I’ve always had this attitude that dating is a numbers games so you have to put yourself out there, if you ever hope to get lucky.
However, sometimes it’s hard. I’ve always motivated myself with booze. There are plenty of better things I can do with my life than go out of a random date which may or may not have a positive outcome. There is enough in my life that guarantees me a good time (and probably a lot less frustration) – running, gyming, bitching and moaning with my friends. So, I’ve often used alcohol as an incentive to go on dates (sometimes even to wine estates) with guys I wasn’t 100% into. I was basically telling myself that at least I’d be rewarded with a glass of wine and maybe something more, but I didn’t then that was OK because I’d have my old friend, wine by my side.
Sigh. Without booze. I was considerably harsher in who I was willing to date or even invest time engaging in a conversation with.
Will I Die A (Born-Again) Virgin?
Hopefully not! In one of our many conversations on the topic of booze and dating #zlotybaby who has now been booze free for over a year said that if she’d given up booze back in her single days she would have probably died a Spinster. And after my latest stint with sobriety I must say I concur.
While I fully aware there are people that manage to get out and date without touching booze and also that there are plenty of fun things to do without the inclusion of alcohol. However, in my experience good first dates (I can only think of a couple of examples that didn’t) involve drinks of some sort. Sure, there is the option of having meeting for coffee and as much as I love coffee I feel it is the stuff of interviews and business meetings not romantic encounters. At the end of the day, if your reasons for not drinking are less superficial than mine then I’d stay stick to your guns, however if you want to give yourself a fighting chance of finding #happilyeverafter I think that sobering up will also narrow your pool quite dramatically.
As for me, well we are already into August and I am yet to touch a drop, and even though I’m actually functioning just fine without it, I honestly don’t feel that sobriety is doing my love life any favours (although it is helping me lose weight way to slowly and saving me a bit of money!). As I said at the start, if there is chemistry it wouldn’t matter so much but unicorns don’t just fall onto your lap while you are sitting at home being in your PJs (note to self : stop wishing for unicorns, it’ll just end in heartache!). So I need to get out there and play the numbers game more actively and if it is booze that stops me from descending into Spinsterhood, then so be it! Bring me some bubbly!
So Rinsers. Have you ever tried dating without drinking? Has it worked for you? What’s your attitude to others drinking/not drinking on dates? Yay, Nay or couldn’t care less? Do you think not drinking hampers you chances of getting laid? Or is sober life the way forward? Comments below please and thank you.